Monday, August 13, 2007

Looks Like We Made It

For those of you keeping score at home, we landed in NC last week. Many things still to be done, but everything has gone surprisingly well so far. The cats arrived here safe from the plane, while we had a fun five-day cross-country adventure.

Officially start working this week. We have a few days of training, and then school starts on the 27th. Still plenty to do between now and then, but it will all come together. Has been quite a journey for me over the last few months, but it looks like I am home now.

Love's so strange
Playin' hide and seek with hearts,
And always hurtin'
And we're the fools
Standin' close enough to touch
Those burnin' memories

"Looks Like We Made It" was performed by Barry Manilow

Monday, July 23, 2007


When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to accompany my folks on a visit to the bank. I remember being fascinated by the drive-thru window where you placed your withdrawal slip in a hermetically-sealed plastic cylinder that was then dropped into a machine and sucked through a series of pneumatic tubes until it magically re-appeared a few minutes later filled with cash.

Since I am of the age where I actually remember life before the ATM, I certainly appreciate the convenience of easy access to your funds, and the flexibility and immediacy of online banking. As a matter of fact, this great convenience allowed some miscreant to steal my wife's PIN and access my account two years ago, eventually absconding with over $5000 of our hard-earned bread.

In any case, though our move is progressing smoothly, one of the most befuddling aspects of this process is getting our financial house in order, so to speak. My wife and I opened separate accounts after all the previous trouble we had, figuring that they would only get half of our money the next time one of us was robbed.

However, now that it is time to move all our funds to our new account in North Carolina, I don't even need to tell you how difficult it has been to shuffle funds between four different checking accounts (including the new one) and three different savings accounts, not to mention our credit cards, 401K accounts etc.

In the next week or so, I need to arrange to pay for our moving expenses (~$3500, and we are doing it ourself), car shipping fees, kennel and cargo charges for our cats (who will be joining us once we arrive), carpet cleaners, and auto mechanics, not to mention the hotels and other expenses we will incur on our 2500 mile cross-country trip next week.

It will all come together I am sure, but trying to keep balances from nine different accounts in my head has given me a slight migraine, to say the least. At least for once in our life we actually have money in all those places. The story would be much different if we were still trying to figure out how to pay for all this stuff.

Watch your money-go-round; watch your money-go-round
They got it wrapped up tight, they got it safe and sound
Watch your money-go-round; watch your money-go-round
As you fall from grace and hit the ground

"Money-Go-Round" was written by Paul Weller

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Free Time

Happy July, y'all. The last couple weeks have been very busy for us, but things are progressing rather nicely. Actually, at this point I would say that most of the important decisions have been made, and it looks like I can look forward to a relaxing month before we hit the road.

In the last few days, I managed to book the moving company, sort out my 401K rollover, set up our new bank account in North Carolina, sell our extra stuff at a yard sale, and pay off my wife's car for good measure. Sure is nice not to have a job, since I don't know how I would have gotten all of that out of the way otherwise!

Since school is pretty much over with around here, I doubt I will be bringing in much cash next month. I actually even contemplated applying for a job parking cars for a month, which was one of my favorite jobs in college, but I've got enough money coming in from substitute teaching to last me 'til we move.

Besides, my wife and I are heading off to a wedding in Boston in the middle of next month, and I don't think my new employer would appreciate me taking a week off of work after only one week on the job, when I would plan on quitting a couple weeks after that anyway.

So it looks like I've got some free time this month, and I am wondering what I will do with it. There is still plenty to pack up of course, and I'm sure lots of last-minute details to iron out. Have gotten used to the busy pace of the last couple months though, and wonder if I am up for the task of catching up on my soaps for the next couple weeks.

I won't ever get used to this
A blank spot
temptations do resist.
The other shoe will drop
just an aftershock
Nice hat; you look like a referee
Nice watch; but why are you timing me?
Its spring has come unwound
I was not out of bounds
This is not out--
I drew that line
when I was handed free time.

"Free Time" was written by Michael Penn